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W3C and the Ripple interledger is on a mission that the governments of the world cannot stop.
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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor and Director Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C’s mission is to lead the Web to its full potential.
Interledger is an open protocol suite for sending payments across different ledgers. Like routers on the Internet, connectors route packets of money across independent payment networks. The open architecture and minimal protocol enable interoperability for any value transfer system. Interledger is not tied to any one company, blockchain, or currency. Interested in connecting ledgers, building with micropayments or getting involved in the protocol development?
The Problem: Disconnected Networks
Payment networks today are siloed and disconnected. Payments are relatively easy within one country or if the sender and recipient have accounts on the same network, blockchain or ledger. Try sending to someone on a different system though, and you may be out of luck. Where connections between ledgers do exist, they are manual, slow or expensive.
Applying the Architecture of the Internet:
The power of the Internet comes from the fact that it connects everyone. It can do this because it is not a single network or system. The Internet is a network of networks or internetwork. Packets of information are sent across independent telecommunication providers using open protocols such as TCP/IP. This makes it easy to communicate with anyone, no matter what provider they are connected to. We need the same for money and value.
How Interledger Works:
Interledger uses connectors to route payments across different ledgers. Conditional transfers — using Hash-Time-Locked Contracts (HTLCs), as they are known in the blockchain space — are used to secure multi-hop payments so funds cannot be lost or stolen in flight. On top of this security primitive, Interledger provides a packet and address format, heavily inspired by the Internet Protocol (IP), to instruct connectors where to forward payments. For more details, see the Interledger Architecture RFC.
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